Tennessee State Library and Archives
Wish You Were Here: Retreat to Tennessee’s Historic Resorts


Morgan Springs

2nd Morgan Springs Resort in Rhea County, ca. 1915.
Looking Back at TN Photograph Collection

Patrons seeking the benefit of mineral springs endured arduous rides on horseback and in wagons to reach the waters in the highlands of East Tennessee.  With resort development arising after 1830, these locales became true destinations.  Stagecoach routes certainly served some of the earliest health seekers.  But as resorts across the state came into their own, they utilized a combination of the burgeoning railroad system and hacks, carriages, and “omnibuses” to complete the conveyance of customers to their establishments.
Galbraith Springs

Galbraith Springs pamphlet

Nolichucky River railroad bridge with Unaka Springs Hotel in background, 1894.
Looking Back at TN Photograph Collection

Railroad "Train Tables" made an effort to list the stops for the watering spas along the route. The small annual advertising pamphlets published by many of the resorts would often include a map such as the one on the back of the Galbraith Springs (Hawkins County) 1893 publication emphasizing the connections to particular railroad lines. Railroads even sponsored their own works. A case in point would be the 1882 Guide to the Summer Resorts and Watering Places of East Tennessee produced by the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad Company for the promotion of their business through these sites.
Tennessee State Library and Archives
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